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Labor in the New Economy$
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Katharine G. Abraham, James R. Spletzer, and Michael Harper Harper

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780226001432

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226001463.001.0001

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Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS

Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS

(p.187) 5 Adjusted Estimates of Worker Flows and Job Openings in JOLTS
Labor in the New Economy

Steven J. Davis

R. Jason Faberman

John C. Haltiwanger

Ian Rucker

University of Chicago Press

This chapter focuses on the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) for estimation of worker flows and job openings in the U.S. labor market. JOLTS data are mentioned to be a valuable resource for understanding labor market dynamics and for evaluating theories of unemployment and worker turnover. They also present measurement issues that are not well understood or fully appreciated. A key point is that the JOLTS sample overweights relatively stable establishments with low rates of hires and separations, and underweights establishments with rapid growth or contraction. The unrepresentative nature of the JOLTS sample with respect to the cross-sectional density of employment growth rates matters because hires, quits, layoffs, and job openings vary greatly with establishment growth rates in the cross-section. As a result, the current JOLTS program produces downwardly biased estimates for worker flows and job openings.

Keywords:   labor market, United States, job openings, workers, labor mobility

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